A day at the beach
24.09.2014 - 24.09.2014
Today the only way to get ashore is via tenders. Passengers who have done this trip before have said there is always an issue with tenders. The only put a few in the water, they take forever to transport people ashore given most people want to go early. Not me, I'm cool with going late morning. We have to collect tender tickets from one of the lounges on deck 7 then wait for them to make an announcement that we are right to go. I got to the lounge but the only thing happening there was a round of trivia. I wait for it to finish but another passenger who isn't as patient interrupts the game to ask. Apparently we no longer need tickets as the rush is over. The is a queue though that goes up two flights of stairs. If I wait another 30 minutes there should be no waiting. Turns out to be a good plan and I pretty much walk straight on to a tender, Sylvia it seems had a similar plan as she is on the same tender. She is meeting some others and will be going snorkelling.
It takes a while on the tender listening to Doris Day sing Que Sera while we wait til the tender at the dock has enough passengers on board to take back to the ship which seems to be taking a while. One of the passengers is becoming impatient and says a few things. I said to him that we at least have modern music to listen to and we have a bit of a laugh. We finally get to shore, and there is a short walk up to a kind of congregation area that has a large open shelter with a few market stalls, next to an area where the locals are putting on a bit of a ceremony. The prices here are higher than in Vanuatu and I can't see any postcards. On the other side I see the partner of the guy on the tender who was complaining, she says she lost him already. I pointed to the food and what looked like a bar, she said the bar was likely but he was supposed to be buying a hat. She asked me if I was travelling alone, and I said that it was easy on a cruise. I leave her to it and look around to see which direction would be best to go in. A man who had comeback from the church said the last bit was quite steep so I decided to go back to the beach.
Saw some old structures that don't seem to be used anymore. With the beach just a few metres away it seems like a shame. I climb down some rocks onto the beach, and then move along the beach away from the jetty. I have to time it right to get around some rocks before the waves come in. Didn't get too wet lol. Took some pictures then went back since I'm not sure if the tide is coming in or out. Then off with the shoes and paddle in the water. It is fairly cold so I'm pleased I'm not going in. Beautiful scenery, such clear blue water. Most passengers use the striped blue towels they give us on board, they go in for a swim, come out and try to work out which towel was theirs, bags shoes and other items is, I guess what they look for rather than the towel.
One scene you never want to see is the ship you are supposed to be on looking like it is moving away from you! Not really a concern since the tenders can still be seen, and so many passengers around.
I am safely back on board with hours to spare before departure having spent nothing ashore. In my room I have a new friend. One problem is when I picked him up his head fell off!
I have found that after the lunch buffet closes at 2.30 the grill still has French fries, baguettes and salad rolls The fries are great with a bit of tomato sauce, the salad roll isn't so great. Tomato, lettuce and sour cream not really my thing, most days there was meat of some sort on them. Not today though.
I had enough time for a nap before dinner where it was the four of us again.The dining room is definitely better than the buffet! Don't know about the Salt Grill, I don't see the point of paying extra for food that is already paid for in my fare. Talking of fares, it seems that others paid considerably less for their cabins than I did, they don't have balconies and are on levels 5&6 but you don't really need a balcony, I like having one though especially if I can keep the door open.
Tonight up on the open pool deck there is a circus performance. The Captain has slowed the ship and changed our course to reduce the wind. This helps with the safety of the performers, it is still windy and a little chilly for us watching. The performance consists of acrobatics, both on the ground/deck and aerial. Most of my photos are just blurs which is a shame. After the show a "Beach Party" starts, and continue til midnight. As my cabin is just under the pool deck, I received a note from the Captain to advise that there could be some noise coming from the party and they apologise for any inconvenience caused. Nice touch!